Mobile Home Legislation Passes Senate Committee

The Senate Regulatory Reform committee passed out HB 4054 this week, a bill that makes changes to the Mobile Home Commission Act.  HB 4054 is a reintroduction from last year by Rep. Andy Schor in an effort to address a situation that occurred in his district with the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park. This legislation requires the DEQ to outline clear roles for local units of government and enforcement (a problem that occurred with the Life O’Riley mobile home park that ended being condemned and residents forced to seek housing elsewhere). In addition, there are more reporting requirements of the DEQ to local units of government of rules promulgated or when a mobile home is found to be in violation.

The League is supportive of this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use, and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Physically Present to Vote Bill Passes House Committee

HB 4182 (Rep. Price, R – Holland) passed out of the House Oversight and Ethics committee this week.  This bill amends the Open Meetings Act and would make it a requirement that an elected member of a public body must be physically present to vote on an issue in order for a meeting to be considered open to the public, unless it is an emergency session, in which case this requirement does not apply.

This is a reintroduction from last session when the bill died in lame duck.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Sample FOIA Compliance Documents Now Available

A sample FOIA Summary, Procedures and Guidelines, and Fee Itemization Form are now available on the League’s website: One Pager Plus Fact Sheet. These sample documents are intended to assist our local municipalities in complying with the new changes made to FOIA that go into effect July 1, 2015.  We also have a webinar available for purchase, and we held a breakout session at Capital Conference, Read more.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

House Passes Mobile Home Legislation

The full House of Representatives passed out HB 4054 this week, a bill that makes changes to the Mobile Home Commission Act.  HB 4054 is a reintroduction from last year by Rep. Andy Schor in an effort to address a situation that occurred in his district with the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park. This legislation requires the DEQ to outline clear roles for local units of government and enforcement (a problem that occurred with the Life O’Riley mobile home park that ended being condemned and residents forced to seek housing elsewhere). In addition, there are more reporting requirements of the DEQ to local units of government of rules promulgated or when a mobile home is found to be in violation.

The League is supportive of this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Senate Passes Pneumatic Guns Legislation

This week the full Senate passed  SB 85 (sponsored by Sen. Hildenbrand, R-Lowell), a bill to include pneumatic guns (i.e. paint ball guns) in the list of pistols or other firearms that local units of government currently cannot tax, regulate ownership of, registration of, sale/transfer/possession and transportation of (PA 319 of 1990).

The legislation does allow a local unit to regulate the possession of a pneumatic gun in someone under the age of 16 unless it is on their private property as well as allow a local unit to prohibit discharging of a pneumatic gun in heavily populated areas.

The League is opposed to this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate with the League handling economic development, land use, and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Urban Livestock Workgroup Recommendations Released

Last year, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture changed the siting Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (GAAMPs) to provide for a more clear distinction of local control for urban/suburban settings.  That created a lot of concern in the “urban farming” community and because of that Sen. Joe Hune asked the Michigan Department of Agriculture to pull together a stakeholder work group to come up with recommendations that could be either changed within the department or acted on by the legislature.  That workgroup was pulled together and began meeting in September of last year.  The workgroup has concluded and has released its recommendations document. There were 5 recommendations:

  1. The ULW (Urban Livestock Workgroup) recommends the development of an Urban Agriculture Act to address, stimulate, and support local efforts and interest in raising livestock in urban/suburban areas.
  1. The ULW acknowledges the interconnection of raising livestock and plants. The ULW recommends that the Urban Agriculture Act require the development of guidelines for urban/suburban agriculture.
  1. The ULW recommends that the Urban Agriculture Act give authority to develop, and approve guidelines for urban/suburban agriculture to the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.
    1. Through the appointment of a group with diverse representation of race, gender, age, and geographic location across Michigan and at least one member from each of: local government, state government, academia and urban/suburban producers to develop, review, and recommend guidelines.
    2. The guidelines would be approved on annual basis for the first five years and at least on a biennial basis in the years that follow.
    3. And the Commission is also empowered to review and approve guidelines on an “as needed” basis.
  1. The ULW recommends that the Urban Agriculture Act provide for local zoning authority over agriculture in urban/suburban areas.
  1. The majority of the ULW recommends that the bill to establish the Urban Agriculture Act be introduced during the 2015/2016 Legislative session.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture, MSU Extension, and city of Muskegon will be presenting on this topic during the League’s Capital Conference session so be sure to attend to learn more.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

House Committee Reports Out Online Notice Legislation

Last week the House Local Government Committee voted out HB 4183, legislation that would phase out the newspaper publication requirement for public notices and transition the notices to the Internet.  This is a re-introduction from last session.

HB 4183 creates a tiered system for legal notices and phases them out over time. The legislation is vague, but the least “serious” notices would be considered Tier C. Tier A would include those notices that deal with property and finances.  Because these tiers are not defined in law, there is confusion as to what constitutes Tier A, B or C.  We are working to put together a document to explain each one and will push that out as soon as it is available.

There is a 10 year phase out of print publication notices and phases in online notices over that same period of time.  Tier A’s are posted in the newspapers the longest as they deal with property loss, taxes, etc.  Each 5 years the tiers are stepped down to the next level, removing one print publication notice, until they are all online by 2025.

The legislation allows local electors to hold a referendum to require continued publication in a newspaper. It allows local units to enter into contracts with media outlets for publication on their websites. The bill also requires archiving of public notices for five years.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Pneumatic Gun Legislation Passes Senate Committee

This week the Senate Judiciary committee passed  SB 85 (sponsored by Sen. Hildenbrand, R-Lowell), a bill to include pneumatic guns (i.e. paint ball guns) in the list of pistols or other firearms that local units of government currently cannot tax, regulate ownership of, registration of, sale/transfer/possession and transportation of (PA 319 of 1990).

The legislation does allow a local unit to regulate the possession of a pneumatic gun in someone under the age of 16 unless it is on their private property as well as allow a local unit to prohibit discharging of a pneumatic gun in heavily populated areas.

The League is opposed to this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate with the League handling economic development, land use, and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Mobile Home Legislation Passes Out of House Committee

The House Regulatory Reform committee passed out HB 4054 this week, a bill that makes changes to the Mobile Home Commission Act.  HB 4054 is a reintroduction from last year by Rep. Andy Schor in an effort to address a situation that occurred in his district with the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park. This legislation requires the DEQ to outline clear roles for local units of government and enforcement (a problem that occurred with the Life O’Riley mobile home park that ended being condemned and residents forced to seek housing elsewhere). In addition, there are more reporting requirements of the DEQ to local units of government of rules promulgated or when a mobile home is found to be in violation.

The League is supportive of this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

House Committee Takes Testimony on Online Public Notice Legislation

This week, the House Local Government Committee took testimony on HB 1483, legislation that would phase out the newspaper publication requirement for public notices and transition the notices to the Internet.  This is a re-introduction from last session.

HB 4183 creates a tiered system for legal notices and phases them out over time. The legislation is vague, but the least “serious” notices would be considered Tier C. Tier A would include those notices that deal with property and finances.  Because these tiers are not defined in law, there is confusion as to what constitutes Tier A, B or C.  We are working to put together a document to explain each one and will push that out as soon as it is available.

There is a 10 year phase out of print publication notices and phases in online notices over that same period of time.  Tier A’s are posted in the newspapers the longest as they deal with property loss, taxes, etc.  Each 5 years the tiers are stepped down to the next level, removing one print publication notice, until they are all online by 2025.

The legislation allows local electors to hold a referendum to require continued publication in a newspaper. It allows local units to enter into contracts with media outlets for publication on their websites. The bill also requires archiving of public notices for five years.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org.